Law to the Proud

Friday, Mar. 18                                                                      

“Law to the proud; good news to the humble.”  There’s a lot of  truth in this little statement.  Humility is not a natural trait for fallen, sinful human beings.  Pride is endemic.  Whether a man is rich or poor, whether successful or a failure, whether he has a good reputation or a bad one, he is proud by nature.  It’s in his system directly from ancestor Adam.  He can’t be anything but proud.  I’ve been with a stone age tribe living in the jungles of  Bolivia, people without clothes, without houses, barely eking our a living with their bows and arrows.  They are as proud as anyone I’ve ever met.  They consider themselves “the people” while all others are enemies and nothing more than animals.  And just like Americans, they feel no need to change.  They are not ready for the gospel message.  They need divine help.  They need to know the bad news before hearing about the good news.  That is still true in our modern, sophisticated, “advanced” world.  The “good life” is not the good news.  And that was precisely what God intended the Mosaic Law to do for Israel.  As the Apostle Paul said, the Law was a “schoolmaster” to bring men to Christ.  Once a man realizes his sinful condition, his eternal judgment and his inability to do anything about it, he is desperate enough to look for help.  THAT is being humbled.  This whole scenario is put in graphic terms in Lk. 18:9-14.  Note especially vv. 13-14.  “But the tax collector stood at a distance.  He would not even look  up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’  I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God.  For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

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